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June 3, 2020 7:00 am
We returned to our series entitled people. Jesus met in our passage for today. John chapter 9 Jesus made the man born blind. This is one of my very favorite passages in all the Bible so let's begin. Let's get right to it. John chapter 9 verse one. The Bible says that as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind since birth and his disciples asked him, Rabbi Lucinda, this man or his parents that he was born blind. We need to understand that in Bible times, it was a common believe that if tragedy or suffering came upon you. It was because you would committed some horrible sin, but the Lord Jesus straighten this out watches he does in verse three Jesus said neither this man nor his parents soon, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in his life. In other words, Jesus says God, in his mighty sovereignty ordained up that this man be born blind because God in his mighty wisdom planned to use this man's affliction to bring glory to himself now as followers of Jesus Christ today.
We need to hear what Jesus is saying here in this verse about our troubles about our sicknesses about our problems. Yes, sometimes God sends troubling sickness into the life of a believer to discipline that believer for sin in their life and we should always check out that possibility first, but far more often. God sovereignly puts trouble in our lives because he has a plan to redeem it and turn it into glory for himself, you know, my daughter Jill who was many of you know was severely mentally retarded and disabled when she was first born.
I used to pray Lord, what have I done with sin. If I committed that you would do this to me and it was a number of years later I was reading John chapter 9 in my devotions, and the Holy Spirit almost spoke to me audibly and said lawn okay here's your answer right in this verse Jill is not the way she is because of anything you did or that Brenda did or the Jill did. Jill is the way she is because I got a plan, a plan to redeem her suffering and redeem your suffering and turn it into great glory for myself and you don't see that plan yet you just stick with me lawn and you just trust me well.
18 years later. McLean Bible church. There's access, ministry. There's beautiful blessings.
There's breakout there's break away their soon to be Jill's house, all serving children with disabilities for the glory of God and churches come from all around America to learn what were doing here and take it back to their churches and their communities. The point is that God has done precisely what he said he has redeemed Jill sickness he has redeemed all the accompanying pain and he has turned it into glory for himself and my friend is a follower of Christ, you may not be able to see yet how God is going to redeem your sorrow. How is going to redeem your suffering 18 years ago I couldn't see it either.
But that's all right we don't have to be able to see it because Isaiah 55 verse eight God says, my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
God says I don't need you to understand I got it on the control. Okay, so I urge you with your troubles with your problems with your struggles to do with the Holy Spirit told me to do and that is this did with God and trust him. He will keep his word to you, just like he kept his word to me and I promise you one day.
As you look back on all of it you will sing with Fanny Crosby. Indeed, Jesus led me all the way. Now that's not the sermon that's just a bonus that I put it okay but we want to go on now in the passage and let's look and see how God redeems this man's blindness and turns it into the glory of God. All right, verse six. Having said this, Jesus spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva and applied it to the man's eyes and said to him, go wash in the pool of solo law.
So the man went and washed and came back. See table 4 we just gloss over this. Let's remind ourselves Jesus just healed a blind man. Praise the Lord, call Lilia hallelujah RI verse 13 so the crowd brought the man who was formally blind to the rabbis now on the good the day on which Jesus made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a Sabbath. So the rabbis asked the man how he received his sight, and the man replied he Jesus put mud on my eyes and I watched and now I see.
Therefore some of the rabbis that this man is not from God because he worked. He made mud on the Sabbath. He doesn't keep the Sabbath with the other rabbis were saying how can a man who was a sinner perform such great miracles. And so there was a division among them. Finally they said the blind man. Well, what do you say about him. It was your eyes. He opened and the man said he is a prophet, not love this.
Here's this ordinary everyday man standing before the theological intelligentsia of Israel.
This man was not a theologian. He was not a Bible scholar.
He was not a professionally trained rabbi, but he had more spiritual insight than all of them put together 11 verse 18. The Rabbi still did not believe it of him that he had been blind and had received his side so they sent for the man's parents and they asked them, is this your son whom you say was born blind.
How is it that he can now see in his parents said what we know this is our son and we know that he was born blind, but how he now sees and who opened his eyes, we do not know asked him they said he is of age he can speak for himself. John, the writer of the gospel as his parents said this because they were afraid for the rabbis had decided that anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue and this is why they said he is of age asked him so the rabbis some of the man who'd been blind for a second time and said to him give God the praise for we know this man Jesus is a sinner. Then the blind man said is a great this is great. He said whether he's a sinner or not.
I don't know. But one thing I do know whereas once I was blind, now I can say and you guys didn't do this for me. I'm sticking with him. I'm sticking with him while the rabbis asked him again what did he do to you. How did he open your eyes and the man answered I told you already, and you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again.
Do you want to become his disciples to then, the rabbis hurled insults at him and said you are his disciple, we are disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow we don't know where he is from, and the man replied. Well, he said, here is an amazing thing.
You don't know where he's from, yet he open my eyes.
The man goes on, we know God does not listen to sinners. He listens to worshipers of God will do his will. Since the beginning of time. The man says it has never been heard that anyone open the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God. He could do nothing, then the rabbis said you were steeped in sin at birth.
How dare you lecture us and they throw it out into the street.
Jesus heard they have thrown them out found him and said do you believe in the Son of Man, meaning himself, and then the man said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped Jesus at that point now this is a wonderful passage but were at the end of it and so it's time for us to ask our most important question and I know you been going through withdrawal this summer and and so we here's your fix. Here we go. Are you ready are you ready, here we go.
We do need to take a deep breath through there we go on to a house we did. It is yeah you say Launcelot you say listen, I mean this is a wonderful passage and I love John chapter 9, but honestly, I don't see 1 Single Way in which this passage connects with my life practically today will help with the fast requesting to begin with. What stands out most to you as you look back over this passage we just read willing to give you my answer, which stands out most to me in this passage is the spiritual blindness of these rabbis, I mean after a healing like Jesus did here in John chapter 9. How could he be anything else but the Messiah and you know this wasn't the only healing Jesus ever performed in Israel. Matthew chapter 15 verse 30 says great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, blind, crippled, mute, and many others, and they laid them at Jesus's feet and he healed them. In fact, Luke, chapter 6, verse 19 makes a point to tell us that he healed them all and these healings that Jesus was doing these were no secret in Israel Mark chapter 1 verse 45 says the news about Jesus spread to such an extent that Jesus could no longer enter a town openly, but had to stay out in the unpopulated areas.
Yet people still came to him from everywhere.
Cephalon okay but you know maybe it was all these people out in the countryside who were getting to see all of these healings and miracles of Jesus may be the rabbis who were concentrated in Jerusalem. I mean maybe this is the first one they had ever seen.
Maybe they didn't know about all these other healings will not so chemo sobbing, no, no, no, listen. Matthew chapter 21 verse 14 and the blind and the lame came to Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem for all the rabbis hung out and he healed them. But look at this when the chief priests and rabbis saw hello when they saw the wonderful things he did. They were indignant friends. The point is that Jesus filled the entire land of Israel with his healings, such that anybody with a brain should've immediately fallen to their knees and confessed him as the Messiah of Israel.
You Cephalon. My question is so wide in the rabbis do this I mean their blindness to believe seems humanly unexplainable while you're exactly right.
It is humanly unexplainable because it was not human blindness.
Rather, it was spiritual blindness that these rabbis suffered from and let me explain. The Bible says Ephesians chapter 2 verse one that is on believers in Jesus Christ. We are all dead in our trespasses spiritually dead in our trespasses and our sin in the Bible also says the part of the fallout of being spiritually dead is that we are spiritually blind to the presence of God to the reality of God to the truth of the word of God. Ephesians chapter 4 verse 18 God describes unbelievers in this way, and I quote having their understanding dark in and being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them. Look because of the what's the next word said blindness not of their eyes. The blindness of their heart. This is spiritual blindness were talking about here. Second Corinthians 44 says the God of this world. Satan has blinded, not the eyes, but the minds of the unbelieving, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel folks every human being in this world who is outside of Jesus Christ is in this condition of spiritual blindness and this is why in John chapter 9, even though it was as clear as the nose on their face. Those rabbis simply couldn't see who Jesus was. This is why your unbelieving father can't see it, no matter how many times you talk to him and you plead with him. This is why your unbelieving mother doesn't see it and why your unbelieving neighbors and coworkers and friends at school don't see it because there spiritually blind and may I add. This is why you didn't see it either before you came to Christ because you were spiritually blind Cephalon. I love these people care about all these people.
I want these people to come to a saving knowledge of Christ and so what can I use to break through the spiritual blindness that they have will. That's a great question. But before I tell you what will break through spiritual blindness. Let me tell you three things that will not break through spiritual blindness in people. Number one is human logic a blind man here in John non-tried that on the rabbis did me look verse 31. He said we know that God doesn't listen to sinners. He listens to worshipers of God, who do his will.
Since the beginning of time.
It is never been heard that anyone open the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God. He could do nothing pay. I would call that an extremely logical argument when you yeah hey did work on those rabbis not on your life. They reviled him, and they threw them out in the streets and yet today. So often we try to use the same approach we argue endlessly with unbelieving people trying to convince them of the logic of believing in Christ, we give them the book evidence is that demands a verdict and then when that doesn't work we give them the book the new evidence that demands a verdict and then we give them CDs and we give them articles to read and we give them apologetics material and yet all rolls off of them, like water off a ducks back. Why because their problem is not the lack of logical information. The problem is spiritual blindness now. Yes you do need a little bit of information to come to Christ.
There's nothing wrong with giving people. This information, but friends the amount of information a person needs to come to Christ can be fit in the thimble you don't need a lots of the problem is about how much information we give folks spiritual blindness trumps human logic every time.
The second thing that won't work and won't breakthroughs people spiritual blindness is the compelling evidence of creation. You're my youngest son John is taking a course in microbiology and he was telling me just the other day about what is learning about antibiotics and about how so many of them were by ripping apart the cell wall of bad bacteria, but he also learned that the cell wall of these bad bacteria is just slightly different in construction than the cell wall of good cells in our body which is why antibiotics rip apart bacteria and why they don't rip apart every other single cell in our body. Folks, this is just one of thousands and thousands of intricacies in the human body, and I said to John. We were talking I said you know after going to med school and seeing the astounding precision of the human body. I don't see how any doctor can be an atheist fact I said this very these very words to a doctor friend of mine in his office. Not too long ago and he replied and said well he said you know I never really thought about and he shrugged it off and kept going.
Now why didn't this doctor friend of mine see this and why doesn't Stephen Hawkins see it when he looks at the amazing complexity of the cosmos. Well, it's because as compelling as the evidence of creation is it will never break through spiritual blindness. Finally, the first thing that won't breakthroughs spiritual blindness in people are the change lives for Christ that we seek to live here in front of them. You once again the blind man tried this on the rabbis in John 92 he said.
Whereas once I was blind, now I see.
He said hey you rabbis listen Jesus Christ change my whole life. I mean, I'm a radically different person. Because the him and the rabbis could see it. My gosh, she was standing right there in front of them able to see him after being blind. They could see the change with the disc brakes through the blindness of those rabbis know and so often we think that this is the one that will really work with people that when we tell people how much Jesus is change our life and when they see that being lived out authentically in front of them that suddenly they will get it and they'll believe you know I thought that was my dad. My father who was utterly disinterested in Christ. When I came to Christ.
I would sit and try to talk to my dad about Jesus and he take the remote turn up the television so allow you couldn't talk. And then if I insisted on continuing to talk to turn the television off and walked out of the room. I call that disinterested. Would you yeah okay well when I was about five years old and the Lord in my 20s, my dad came to me one time and said to me, and I think I've told you this before. He said you know Lon you become a wonderful song and I said to him, dad. Don't kid yourself. I am still the same rotten son.
I have always been what you are seeing is the transforming power of Jesus Christ operating in my life and dad he can operate with the same power in your life to you. Say wow after conversation like that.
Did your dad immediately except Christ. No, no, he was just as disinterested as before, because even a transform life happening right in front of people won't break through their spiritual blindness you say. Well long human logic will do it and if the evidence of creation won't do it and if change lives for Christ won't do it, then what will break through people spiritual blindness, well, the answer that question. My friends is that the only thing that can breakthroughs spiritual blindness is the power of the Holy Spirit himself. This is why Jesus said, John 16, eight and when the Holy Spirit comes he not human logic, not the evidence of creation, not your change life, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment breaking through people spiritual blindness and convicting them of their sin before God and convincing them. Jesus is who he said he is and bringing them to their knees at the foot of the cross. This is the work of the Holy Spirit and the holy spirit alone, only he can do now, that brings us to a final question that is a lot of only the Holy Spirit can break through people spiritual blindness than my question is how can we bring the full convicting power of the Holy Spirit to bear on the heart on the life of a spiritually blind person that we love and care about great question and the answer is we do it on our need we do with in prayer. Prayer that God will shatter their spiritual blindness prayer that God will illuminate Ephesians chapter 4 there darkened the understanding and prayer that God will do with them what he did with the apostle Paul asked. 918 it says there that something like scales fell off the apostle Paul's eyes and that's our prayer for our spiritually blind friends that spiritual scales will like fall off of their eyes and suddenly they can see your was a kid.
I'm sure you can relate to this. Maybe the jabber take a magnifying glass and use it to concentrate the sun's rays on a pile of leaves and start a fire or maybe to concentrated on off on a little red And make the Popper. Some of us use it on other things you know you know, especially if your mail but the point that I'm trying to make two-year course you remember that with the Bible is really telling us is that if these leaves really represent the heart of a spiritually blind person and if this rays of the sun represent the power of the Holy Spirit than the magnifying glass represents our prayers for them. That takes the power of the spirit and concentrates it on their heart because God has graciously agreed to honor our prayers for people's hearts when we pray them like this and you know my dad. I tried logical name didn't work. I tried the evidence of creation morning it didn't work.
I tried my own change life warning didn't work all we ended up doing is arguing all the time and once I was praying for him and I remember the Holy Spirit, said to me, Lon, you're using all the wrong weapons son you need to argue with him last. And you need to pray for him more so that day I committed myself. I was five years in the Lord at that time I committed myself to praying for my dad and asking the Holy Spirit to shine on his heart, asking the Holy Spirit to show them mercy asking the Holy Spirit to lift his spiritual blindness so he could see who Jesus was, I committed myself I was going to pray for him every day faithfully and you know what to do. Years later, my dad gave his life to Jesus Christ. Can you believe that a myth. This is the guy who turns off the television set walks out the room. Remember him and the most amazing part of it all is that my dad was the one who brought up the conversation that led him to Christ.
I walked into his hospital room and he said to me, you know, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what you told me about Jesus and I started to think that maybe you're right. I thought I was to have a heart attack right there. I didn't even bring it up. You talk about the work of the Holy Spirit in a person's heart. Oh my goodness friends I want to save your follower of Jesus here today. I can promise you that there was somebody somewhere somebody who loves you very much mother, father, a grandparent, a brother sister, a neighbor, a friend at school.
There was somebody somewhere who, through prayer, focus, the Holy Spirit's power on your heart and that's why the scales dropped from your eyes.
I don't believe anybody ever gets a without somebody somewhere, praying for so the bottom line is, as followers of Christ our greatest weapon in helping people we love come to Christ is not human logic and is not the evidence of creation. And it's not even our own transform life for Christ it's prayer. Prayer. Prayer. Prayer, so let's summarize what we learned today what we learn number one that unbelieving people are not just stubborn there spiritually blind number two that this blindness can only be shattered by the power of the Holy Spirit. We learn number three that prayer is the magnifying glass that concentrates the Holy Spirit's power on a person's life. And finally, we've learned that therefore the most powerful kind of evangelism is evangelism in deep partnership with prayer unbelieving with a question today. Here's my question for you to think about or for you to go and talk about over lunch or to talk to your family about here's the question is who is the most spiritually blind, the most least likely to come to Christ person you know or maybe there's a couple of who are the it be fun to talk about that you share with your family or friends who that person is. For me it was my dad. Absolutely not a doubt in the world was my father will once you've identified that person.
I guess then it really begs the question of whether or not you love that person enough that you're willing to faithfully every day pray for their soul and concentrate the power of the Holy Spirit on their life.
Boy, those are questions we can take home.
Think about and it will change our very approach to hoping people come to Christ. In trying to help was pretty good for Jesus, thank you for instructing us today from your word in spiritual truth more. Thank you that many of us here. Those of us were followers of Christ. We understand this we get this because were not spiritually blind anymore.
Praise the Lord.
We see because the Holy Spirit shown into our heart and he dropped the scales from our eyes. Thank you Lord. But there a lot of friends out there. We have who don't see who are imprisoned in their spiritual blindness and we pray father that as a result of our contact with your word and you today that you would change our very approach to these people make us prayer warriors for them.
Help us to depend less on logic and less on creation and less on our life and its transformation and more on prayer. God help us to see those least likely people to come to Christ. We know actually come because of the movement of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.
Help us be a part of that by taking out the magnifying glass of prayer and holding it up every day for them.
Father change the way we do evangelism the way we approach our friends because we were here today.
We sat under the teaching of the Word of God. We pray these things in Jesus name.
What is God's people say amen. What you say that